© Reuters/2006/Ose

A returning refugee is welcomed in the town of Muyinga in Burundi. Recurrent insecurity, political tensions and natural disasters are slowing the country’s recovery from war.


A combination of recurrent insecurity, political tensions and natural disasters are hampering Burundi’s transition from war to a stable democracy, thus hindering the survival and development of its children. Chronic malnutrition affects 53 per cent of under-five children. The country’s food deficit is estimated at 32 per cent; and only 32 per cent of citizens enjoy adequate hygiene and sanitation facilities. Burundi harbours 836,000 orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) - almost 11 per cent of its population.


UNICEF is the cluster lead for education and water, sanitation and hygiene, and co-chairs consultative groups on nutrition. UNICEF-supported programmes are expected to reach at least 3 million children and 1.8 million women in 2008.

Health and nutrition: UNICEF will introduce community therapeutic care in five new provinces to treat a monthly average of 1,200 severely malnourished children; train 25 medical doctors and 630 health workers to improve the expanded programme on immunization (EPI) at provincial and district levels.

Water, sanitation and hygiene: To provide 50,000 displaced persons with safe water and sanitation facilities, UNICEF will construct/rehabilitate gravity-fed systems and sanitary facilities; train 10 local water authority management teams in county/city water and sanitation assessments; and promote hygiene education and hygiene awareness programmes in 100 schools and 5 local communities.

Education: UNICEF will provide a total of 533,600 displaced and war-affected children as well as 10,675 teachers with basic teaching and learning materials; train 275 primary schoolteachers; rehabilitate 72 classrooms and construct 200 temporary classroom structures to accommodate at least 13,600 primary schoolchildren.

Child protection: UNICEF will support an estimated 300 separated and unaccompanied children affected by their parents’ expulsion from the United Republic of Tanzania; support their identification, documentation, tracing, care and reunification; support partners to rehabilitate and reunite 2,000 OVC with their families; and provide medical, psychosocial and legal assistance to 600 victims of sexual and gender-based violence.

Emergency preparedness and response: To prevent epidemics, UNICEF will distribute non-food items, shelter materials and hygiene kits to 6,000 children and 10,000 people affected by natural disasters.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2008
Sector US$
Health and nutrition 500,000
Water, sanitation and hygiene 600,000
Education 2,000,000
Child protection 500,000
Emergency preparedness and response 900,000
Total* 4.500,000

*The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.


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